What is a Reinforcement Bar?

  • 22.05.23
  • Construction Products

The best concrete construction is nothing without reinforced steel. Explore reinforcement bar types, sizes, and weights to find the right rebar for your next project.

Many of us might look at concrete structures and only consider the concrete without appreciating the required reinforcement.

A prime example of this is the role of reinforcement bars.

To shed some light on this, and help you decide whether it’s useful for your next concrete construction project, we discuss definitions and regulations for rebar, the types of reinforcement bars available and what projects they specifically suit.

Concrete construction is nothing without reinforced steel. Explore reinforcement bar types, sizes and weights to find the right rebar for your project.

Reinforcement bar - Hickman & Love

What is Rebar?

Reinforcement bars are solid steel bars used to reinforce concrete and masonry. Steel rebar comes in various sizes and styles, such as carbon, stainless, or galvanised steel. You can also get glass fibre-reinforced polymer, epoxy-coated, carbon fibre, basalt fibre, and expanded metal rebar. Bamboo has also proved itself as a viable material to help reinforce concrete construction.

Typically, the surface of steel rebar is ribbed with lugs and indentations. This feature helps the rebar bond better to the concrete when submerged. Often, steel rebar is coated in corrosion-resistant chemicals such as zinc or epoxy resin.

With a value of 270.18 billion in 2021, the global steel rebar market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.9% between 2022 and 2030. But the use of reinforcement bars in construction is not a modern invention.

Reinforcement bars date back to Antiquity when Romans reinforced arches, domes and vaults with iron or wooden rods. While the theme of reinforcement metal runs throughout the centuries, it wasn’t till the 19th century that modern reinforced concrete was established as we know it today.

Do I Need to Put Rebar in Concrete?

Everyone knows concrete is a solid material. But while it shows high-compression capabilities, it suffers from a lack of tensile strength. Therefore, rebar is applied to compensate for this flaw, increasing tensile strength so structures can bear heavier loads and withstand movement.

Because without the appropriate tension, our concrete structures would crack under the external elements they face, whether strong winds blowing tower blocks or the heavy weight of vehicles crossing a bridge.

So, ensuring your concrete construction contains rebar will maintain the integrity of your structure and avoid cracking or deteriorating in time. Concrete and steel also share a similar coefficient thermal expansion rate, meaning both materials respond to temperature equally. This similarity causes less stress to structures with both materials in sync to expand and contract as the temperature changes.

When building a structure, you should check that you reinforce the concrete with the appropriate regulations and meet compliance standards.

Here is a list of the appropriate standards you should consider for your rebar project:

– Design for reinforced concrete – BS EN 1992-1.
– Steel specifications for reinforced concrete – BS 4449.
– Steel wire for reinforced concrete – BS 4482.
Steel fabric for reinforced concreteBS 4483.

Your reinforced concrete project should be designed by an engineer and meet Technical Requirements R5. If you’re looking to reinforce concrete when suspending ground floors, garages and low-rise buildings, we recommend you satisfy BS 8103-1.

As a rule of thumb, always read the official regulations for concrete construction before investing any further into your project. These standards are vital to guarantee construction safety and include any mechanical, chemical, and physical properties of reinforcement bar products.

Reinforcement Bar Types and Sizes in the UK

In the UK, we assort steel rebar into specific sizes and types. We do this for property developers to deliver high-quality, consistent, and reliable results when building alongside meeting all relevant health and safety regulations.

Here are some popular types of reinforcement bars with specific sizes, weights, and measurements:

T8 Steel Bar

T8 steel bars are a versatile reinforcement product used across commercial and domestic projects at an H-grade-high tensile strength. “T” stands for tensile strength, and “8” signifies the millimetre width with various lengths available. The size and weights of T8 steel bars include the following measurements:

– Mass (Kg per metre) – 0.393
– Dimensions – 10mm
– Meters per tonne – 2531

T10 Steel Bar

With an extra 2mm width, T10 steel bars are used commonly across construction and domestic DIY projects for various smaller construction sizes and complexities. T10 steel bar is also the rebar used for A393 mesh with larger diameters of T12 and T16 used in larger projects. The size and weight of T10 steel bars include the following measurements:

– Mass (Kg per metre) – 0.616
– Dimensions – 12mm
– Meters per tonne – 2531

T12 Steel Bar

Compared to T8 and T10, T12 steel bars are used in medium-to-larger-scale projects when higher tensile strength is required. Specifications for T12 steel bar size and weights include the following:

– Mass (Kg per metre) – 0.888
– Dimensions – 14mm
– Meters per tonne – 1126

T16 Steel Bar

T16 steel bars get used commonly across the construction industry for commercial property projects. As steel rebar with a greater diameter, T16 is often seen in prefabricated components that require advanced reinforcing, like pile caps, ground beams and columns. Size and weight specifications for T16 steel bars are as follows:

– Mass (Kg per metre) – 1.579
– Dimensions – 19mm
– Meters per tonne – 663

T20 Steel Bar

Finally, T20 steel bars provide a large 2cm diameter to ensure the structural integrity of large-scale construction projects. The size and weight measurements for T20 steel bars include:

– Mass (Kg per metre) – 2.466
– Dimensions – 23mm
– Meters per tonne – 405

Find Your Ideal Reinforcing Bar to Support Your Next Construction Project

At Hickman & Love, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality steel reinforcement products. All our rebar products are H-grade high-tensile steel reinforcement consistent with BS 4449:2005.

Alongside our range in T steel bars, we also stock a range of stainless reinforcement products and steel boots, L-shaped bars and fence post reinforcement.

For further information or to order please call +44 (0)121-557-2191 or email enquiries@hickmanandlove.co.uk we look forward to hearing from you. Or like us on Facebook to keep up to date with projects and news.


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